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behaviour; and what is the poor infant doing now? Who will give her her supper, poor lamb, out of her own cup? Bless her little heart, how sweet and unsuspicious she prattled this morning as we went along! Well!" and she sighed bitterly—“I wish”-and thus she was talking to herself when John came in, looking to the full as cross as his wife, for he was not one bit more easy. The first object he saw when he came in at the wicket, was little Harry under the tree, bewailing the loss of Lizzy : he could have wept at the sight; it is not certain that he did not rub the back of his rough hand across his eyes as he came up to the door; but he came in, to all appearance, in a very bad humour.
“Make haste," said he, “ with my supper, woman; we must be to bed in no time. I'm to be up again at four, and off to Pershore again with the cart and more bags : if master was not so contrary, he would have sent all at once in the wagon this morning: but he never knows his own mind." He don't like going to Pershore again, thought Dinah ; I shall not say what else she thought :-50 John ate his supper, and very sulky he looked whilst he was eating, The wife too was quite silent, and the children all frightened and unhappy; and Harry did not come in till his mother fetched
The whole family went to bed as soon as they had supped, but there was no little baby to rest on Dinah's bosom, and though the poor woman was very weary, she could not sleep. It was a hot night, and as the window in the thatch was open, she heard the owls hooting in the woods, and the breeze rustling in the trees, and the barking of a distant watch-dog, and every sound which occurs in a country place on a summer's night: but she heeded none of these things. The Spirit of God was working in her, to convince her of her own sinfulness, and to shew her the selfishness of her late conduct, in bearing malice against her husband, and in her behaviour to the little child. It would take a volume to relate, even if it were possible, all the workings of God the Spirit during that night in the heart of Dinah, but a few, a very few words, will serve to explain the result of these divine workings.
At four o'clock John was up, and whilst he was dressing, Dinah said, “ John, I've done wrong by you; it is not often that you goes to the Lion; I might have had many a worse man. I beg your pardon for being so contrary. I am quite sure that a kind
word from me would keep you from the alehouse better than the most angry language I could use." . “God bless you !” replied the poor man, “ you never spoke a truer word; and I was thinking you shall fetch the money every Saturday night.”
So John went off, and as he drove his cart along the avenue to Pershore, he said to himself, “Well, now, when I have done master's business, I'll just go to the union, and bring away the child: somehow I misses the little smiler sadly, and God helping me, when I feels a wish to turn into the Lion, I will think of her. As Dinah says, we can't afford to keep the babe and to let me go to the alehouse too. So may God give me the strength to do what's right, for as we hears at church, “no man can do right in his own natural strength.” So John went on and delivered the bags; and having put up his horse for a little bait, and being furnished with a note from a proper officer, all of which took some time, he went to the union, and asked for the child.
“My man! said the mistress, when she had looked at the note, “s the child is gone! the woman that brought her, was here half an hour ago with a letter from the parish officer where she belongs; and she took the child, and now, may be, is as much as a mile on her way back. But sure-ly I never saw two folks so glad to meet as they was. The child had never ceased to pine and cry since here she come.”
“ Well, to be sure !" cried John, laughing, “ if this a'ant good !" And back he went to the place where he had left his horse and cart, and off he was along the road, hoping soon to overtake his wife with the child. As soon as he came in sight of the tree under which he had seen Dinah sitting the day before, there he found her now, and the baby was on her knee.
John once more rubbed his hands across his eyes, but he thought he would not lose a jest which came into his mind. “I will have my laugh,” he said ; “ I will ask Dinah how she come to change her mind, and give herself two weary journies for nought." But after all, John did not have his joke ; little Lizzy made such a quivering and chiruping for joy when she saw him, that he had no opportunity; and appearing surprised, he could do nothing but catch up the little one in his arms, and return her sweet testimonies of infant love.
Oh! what a happy hour was that when Dinah returned to her cottage, and Harry sate once again under his tree with his own little Lizzy. As these things happened during this present summer, we can only add the sequel to this story in the spirit of faith. But can the Christian doubt that he who began the good work in the hearts of these cottagers, will finish his blessed work, and that his blessings will rest on the cottage of John and Dinah, and all who dwell therein ?
SHE DID WHAT SHE COULD. What a striking example for imitation is presented in the conduct of that devoted woman, of whom it is recorded in Mark xiv. 8," she hath done what she could !” It appears from the account of the Evangelists, that she was the sister of Lazarus and Martha, as eminent for her piety and attachment to Christ, as for her mild and tranquil disposition, a quality highly estimable in a follower of Jesus. The passover, one of the principal feasts of the Jews, was now approaching. It was celebrated to preserve among them the memory of their emancipation from the Egyptian yoke, and of the safety of their first-born from the sword of the destroying angel, It was called the Passover, because the Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites, without slaying their first-born, while the Egyptians were destroyed. About six days before the passover, when Jesus was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the Leper, Mary entered with an alabaster box of ointment of great value, and poured it on his head as he sat at meat. This circumstance aroused the murmuring spirit of some of the disciples, who, probably instigated by Judas, thought it a needless expense, and a waste of that which might have been more properly applied to the relief of the poor: Jesus, however, approved the conduct of Mary, and testified his commendation of her by the expression, “ she hath done what she could.”
Emily Bywell, who formed one of the Rev. John Raymond's Bible class, had just returned home after attending the meeting, which was held weekly. It was the custom of her mother to question her on the subject of the chapter which had been brought forward. In this she was actuated by a desire to gain information for herself, and to impress upon her daughter's mind the remarks
that had been elicited. “Well, Emily,” said she,“ how many of the class have attended this evening ?”
“ Fourteen, mother."
“ We have been reading of the woman who anointed Christ's head with the ointment of spikenard.” Matthew xxvi. 8—-13. Mark xiv. 3-10. Johın xii. 3-8.
“And pray, Emily, where did this occur ?"
“Come sit down, and explain it all to me, that I may see what improvement you have made."
Emily obeyed, and taking the Bible in her hand, she proceeded thus:-" Bethany was a considerable village at the foot of Mount Olivet, nearly two miles from Jerusalem; the residence of Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, and of Simon, surnamed the Leper, whether on account of his having descended from a leprous family, or from his formerly having been a leper, and healed by Christ, it is uncertain That he was not a leper when Christ visited him, it is evident; for it was unlawful to eat with persons who had the leprosy. While Jesus was there, Mary entered with an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard."
« Alabaster! what was that, Emily?"
“A species of soft marble, distinguished for being light, and of a beautiful whiteness, almost transparent, much used by the ancients in the preservation of various kinds of ointments.”
6 Very well, and what did Mr. Raymond say of the spikenard ?" “ He said that it was a plant which grew in the East Indies, of a very fragrant smell and strong taste. Its shoots grow even with the surface of the ground, or below it. The spica, or ear, is about the length and thickness of the finger, very light, covered over with long reddish hairs, of a powerful smell, and bitter taste. It was liquid, so as to flow easily when the box or phial was open. The ancients used it for anointing or perfuming their bodies, and the nard was esteemed one of the most precious perfumes. Mary poured this ointment, or liquid on the head and feet of Christ. To pour it on the head was common, but to pour it on the feet, was a special act of humility and attachment to the Saviour. It was a custom among the ancients as a token of respect to regale their guests at entertainments with perfumes, odours, and chaplets
of flowers, as appears from Psalm xxiii. 5, Thou anointest my head with oil:”” see also Psalm xlv. 7, and xcii, 10.
“I am very much pleased that you have paid such attention. This is the means of fixing sentences and remarks upon the memory; and pray what was the value of this alabaster box of spikenard ?"
“ Three hundred pence, or Roman denarii ; amounting to nearly nine pounds ten shillings ; estimating the Romau penny at seven pence halfpenny."
“ Amazing! and what said the disciples to this?"
“ Judas Iscariot said, it might have been sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor, and he seems to have excited the other disciples to murmur at what they considered a waste of the ointment."
“But what right had they to murmur ?"
“ None at all; for Mr. Raymond said, it was Mary's own property, and she had a right to dispose of it as she pleased, being accountable to none but to God; and besides, she was prompted by her love to Jesus—love proceeding from her faith in Him as the anointed of God. The Lord knew her heart, and her motives, and therefore commended her, because she did what she could.”
6. Thank you Emily: I suppose Mr. Raymond made some remarks upon the practical tendency of Christ's commendation.”
“ Yes; he made many. I remember one of them perfectly. He said, while it was designed to impress every Christian, it was particularly intended to influence Christian females, and to press upon them the necessity of doing all they could : that no one should suppose she could do nothing for Christ or His cause ; for all might be useful in promoting it, by active exertions, by prayers, and even by their contributions. He noticed, especially, the case of the poor widow, mentioned by Luke, (chap. xxii. 4,) who while the rich cast much into the treasury, came and dropped into the chest or coffer, two mites, a brass coin, the smallest in use among the Jews, of the value of three-fourths of an English farthing! Small as is this contribution, compared with the offering of the rich, our Lord, who perceived the widow, and knew her heart, declared, that she had cast in more than they had done ; for while they had cast in of their abundance, she of her want, had cast in all that she had, even "her living,' or the means of her daily support; thus